Owl and the Japanese Circus (Adventures of Owl #1)

Owl and the Japanese Circus - Kristi Charish

I remember this being hyped in a newsletter I'm subscribed to, and after reading the blurb, I figured I'd give it a go, especially with the "Indiana Jane" mention in the blurb on Amazon, but I figured I'd wait and see if it went on sale. When it did, I picked it up and promptly forgot about it, until now when a fellow group member had it to read for a challenge this month, and I asked to do a buddy read with them on it to motivate me to read it. I kept it simple: 4 chapters a day to read it, but I found myself going "I hate this book!" after each of my daily readings! I noticed several problems I was having with the book, and it all added up to an overwhelming dislike of the first 85% of the book. Not a good first effort, if a reader hates 85% of your book!

First of all, Owl is not a likeable heroine. She's snarky, but she's not got an off switch for it. It makes her come off as a bitch and not a sassy and strong heroine. Couple her rampaging mouth with the fact that she is so reckless, stupid, and insensitive to other people/beings, and you wind up with a character that comes across as out for the profit only and nothing else.

Secondly, there was entirely too much supernatural dumped into this book, as if the author felt that the Urban Fantasy part of it couldn't stand on its own unless it had Naga, Ghosts, Vampires, Incubi, Succubi, Mummies, Dragons, and Onryu masquerading as Japanese Justice Spirits tossed into the mix. It made everything very unbelievable, and that's saying a lot considering the genre it is supposed to fit into!

Third, the World Quest game! It really felt like a rip off of Dungeons and Dragons Online or World of Warcraft, just based in Archeology. The game having clues to what Owl was working on was completely far fetched and had no relevance on the place where Owl's character found herself stuck at one point!

All things considered, I'm very tempted to abandon the series, but since I purchased the second book before reading this one, I'll probably wait a few months and come back to it in 2017.